The Chinese government received a 7 billion yuan ($990 million) Emergency Assistance Program Loan from the New Development Bank, the largest sovereign debt so far provided by an international financial organization in combating the outbreak of COVID-19, the Ministry of Finance said on Friday.
The Board of Directors of the New Development Bank approved the amount on Thursday, and it will contribute to China’s ongoing efforts to address the health and economic consequences of the outbreak, the bank also announced on its website.
The program is NDB’s first emergency assistance program in response to an outbreak in one of its member countries and is also NDB’s largest loan to date, the bank said.
The loan will focus on three provinces in China, including Hubei, Guangdong and Henan, hit hardest by COVID-19. It will finance urgent and unexpected public health expenditures, including purchases of equipment and emergency supplies, and support the building of hospitals and labs, the Ministry of Finance said.
This loan has a maturity of 30 years with a low interest rate, according to the ministry.
The NDB was established by Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa to mobilize resources for infrastructure and sustainable development projects in BRICS and other emerging economies and developing countries, complementing existing efforts of multilateral and regional financial institutions for global growth and development.